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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Laboratory Technicians in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for dental laboratory technicians in the Murfreesboro, Tennessee area. About 660 people are currently employed as dental laboratory technicians in Tennessee. By 2016, this is expected to grow 20% to about 790 people employed. This is better than the national trend for dental laboratory technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 13.9% over the next eight years. In general, dental laboratory technicians construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.

Income for dental laboratory technicians is about $15 hourly or $31,520 per year on average in Tennessee. Nationally, their income is about $16 hourly or $34,170 yearly. Earnings for dental laboratory technicians are better than earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental in Tennessee and better than general Medical and Dental category earnings nationally.

The Murfreesboro area is home to forty-five schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Murfreesboro where you can get a degree as a dental laboratory technician. The most common level of education for dental laboratory technicians is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a dental laboratory technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Dental Laboratory Technician

Dental Laboratory Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, dental laboratory technicians construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.

Dental laboratory technicians read prescriptions or specifications, and examine models and impressions, to establish the layout of dental products to be constructed. They also test appliances for conformance to given requirements and precision of occlusion, using articulators and micrometers. Finally, dental laboratory technicians fabricate and repair dental devices such as dentures and appliances for straightening teeth.

Every day, dental laboratory technicians are expected to be able to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for dental laboratory technicians to melt metals or mix plaster, porcelain, or acrylic pastes, and pour materials into molds or over frameworks to fashion dental prostheses or apparatus. They are often called upon to remove excess metal or porcelain, and polish surfaces of prostheses or frameworks, using polishing machines. They also place tooth models on apparatus that mimics bite and movement of patient's jaw to review functionality of model. They are sometimes expected to develop a model of patient's mouth by pouring plaster into a dental impression and allowing plaster to set. Somewhat less frequently, dental laboratory technicians are also expected to read prescriptions or specifications, and examine models and impressions, to establish the layout of dental products to be constructed.

Dental laboratory technicians sometimes are asked to fill chipped or low spots in surfaces of devices, using acrylic resins. They also have to be able to fabricate and repair dental devices such as dentures and appliances for straightening teeth and shape and solder wire and metal frames or bands for dental products, using soldering irons and hand tools. And finally, they sometimes have to ready wax bite-blocks and impression trays for use.

Like many other jobs, dental laboratory technicians must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dental Laboratory Technician Training

Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville - Nashville, TN

Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville, 100 White Bridge Rd, Nashville, TN 37209-4515. Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville is a small school located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 713 students. Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Dental Laboratory Technology/Technician which graduated four and eighteen students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Dental Technician: Certification is the process of assessing a dental technician's knowledge and applied skill level necessary to perform the tasks required of a dental technician.

For more information, see the National Board for Certification - National Association of Dental Laboratories website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee photo by Pollinator

Murfreesboro is situated in Rutherford County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 101,753, which has grown by 47.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Murfreesboro, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Murfreesboro are valued at $145,900 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, five hundred seventy-nine new homes were constructed in Murfreesboro, down from 1,157 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Murfreesboro are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 30.8% of Murfreesboro residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Murfreesboro is 9.6%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Murfreesboro residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Central Christian Church, Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church and Saint Pauls Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in Murfreesboro. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Churches of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Murfreesboro is home to the Clement Hall and the Military Park Brannons Redoubt as well as Old Fort Park and Jones Field. Shopping malls in the area include Northside Plaza Shopping Center, Northfield Crossing Shopping Center and Northfield Court Shopping Center. Visitors to Murfreesboro can choose from Doubletree Hotel Murfeesboro, Best Western Chaffin Inn and Hampton Inn Motel Fax Line for temporary stays in the area.